CEPA: Betrayal or Transformative Opportunity
Recent press reports have indicated that all the ASEAN member countries have now ratified a Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA) with India. This agreement is expected to come into effect by the end of 2011. Sri Lanka had a head start when the Indo – Sri Lanka Free Trade Agreement (ISLFTA) was implemented in 2000 and negotiations were commenced on an Indo – Lanka CEPA in 2003. The news of all ASEAN countries ratifying their CEPA with India, at a time when the Indo – Lanka agreement has stalled, raises the question whether Sri Lanka is about to miss a second transformative opportunity in a generation.